At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 53

labyrinthine are the windings of these trails, so varied the connecting
links and the distances which one must retrace one's steps from the
paths' ends to find them that a Mezop often reaches man's estate before
he is familiar even with those which lead from his own city to the sea.

In fact three-fourths of the education of the young male Mezop consists
in familiarizing himself with these jungle avenues, and the status of
an adult is largely determined by the number of trails which he can
follow upon his own island. The females never learn them, since from
birth to death they never leave the clearing in which the village of
their nativity is situated except they be taken to mate by a male from
another village, or captured in war by the enemies of their tribe.

After proceeding through the jungle for what must have been upward of
five miles we emerged suddenly into a large clearing in the exact
center of which stood as strange an appearing village as one might well

Large trees had been chopped down fifteen or twenty feet above the
ground, and upon the tops of them spherical habitations of woven twigs,
mud covered, had been built. Each ball-like house was surmounted by
some manner of carven image, which Ja told me indicated the identity of
the owner.

Horizontal slits, six inches high and two or three feet wide, served to
admit light and ventilation. The entrances to the house were through
small apertures in the bases of the trees and thence upward by rude
ladders through the hollow trunks to the rooms above. The houses
varied in size from two to several rooms. The largest that I entered
was divided into two floors and eight apartments.

All about the village, between it and the jungle, lay beautifully
cultivated fields in which the Mezops raised such cereals, fruits, and
vegetables as they required. Women and children were working in these
gardens as we crossed toward the village. At sight of Ja they saluted
deferentially, but to me they paid not the slightest attention. Among
them and about the outer verge of the cultivated area were many
warriors. These too saluted Ja, by touching the points of their spears
to the ground directly before them.

Ja conducted me to a large house in the center of the village--the
house with eight rooms--and taking me up into it gave me food and
drink. There I met his mate, a comely girl with a nursing baby in her
arms. Ja

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with At the Earth's Core

Page 5
It all has come so suddenly that I scarce believe that either of us realizes the real terrors of our position.
Page 14
But these were later reflections.
Page 17
III A CHANGE OF MASTERS WE MUST HAVE TRAVELED SEVERAL MILES THROUGH the dark and dismal wood when we came suddenly upon a dense village built high among the branches of the trees.
Page 22
They strode along proudly erect.
Page 24
On earth I had often seen him call a cab to travel a square--he was paying for it now, and his old legs wobbled so that I put my arm about him and half carried him through the balance of those frightful marches.
Page 26
By comparison with this method Hooja's lovemaking might be called thinly veiled.
Page 41
Their technic consisted in waving their tails and moving their heads in a regular succession of measured movements resulting in a cadence which evidently pleased the eye of the Mahar as the cadence of our own instrumental music pleases our ears.
Page 43
Upon one side of the doomed pair the thag bellowed and advanced, and upon the other tarag, the frightful, crept toward them with gaping mouth and dripping fangs.
Page 46
It was this last habit that gave me the opportunity I craved to capture one of these herbivorous cetaceans--that is what Perry calls them--and make as good a meal as one can on raw, warm-blooded fish; but I had become rather used, by this time, to the eating of food in its natural state, though I still balked.
Page 49
The monster seemed to be but playing with his victim before he closed his awful jaws upon him and dragged him down to his dark den beneath the surface to devour him.
Page 58
They would not think of eating the meat of a thag, which we consider such a delicacy, any more than I would think of eating a snake.
Page 69
"Well, Ja," I laughed, "whether we be walking with our feet up or down, here we are, and the question of greatest importance is not so much where we came from as where we are going now.
Page 76
"It would be awful to think of living out the balance of my life without you among these hateful and repulsive creatures.
Page 77
And to think that where there was no such thing as time I might easily imagine that my suffering was enduring for months before death finally released me! The Mahars had paid not the slightest attention to me as I had been brought into the room.
Page 81
There was no exit from the room other than the doorway in which I now stood facing the two frightful reptiles.
Page 85
Perry realized that he was jeopardizing Ghak's life and mine and the old fellow fairly begged us to go on without him, although I knew that he was suffering a perfect anguish of terror at the thought of falling into the hands of the Sagoths.
Page 90
As the fellow saw me he leaped along the ledge in pursuit, and after him came as many of his companions as could crowd upon each other's heels.
Page 98
What chance had I against this mighty warrior for whom even the fiercest cave bear had no terrors! Could I hope to best one who slaughtered the sadok and dyryth singlehanded! I shuddered; but, in fairness to myself, my fear was more for Dian than for my own fate.
Page 112
Ghak took his archers along the enemy's flank, and while the swordsmen engaged them in front, he poured volley after volley into their unprotected left.
Page 115
In my letter I told him to be sure to mark the terminus of the line very plainly with a high cairn, in case I was not able to reach him before he set out, so that I might easily find and communicate with him should he be so fortunate as to reach Pellucidar.